Monday, September 29, 2008


Naturally, I want to give my devoted readers enough lead time to get ready for the next Secret Agent appearance, so here's everything you need to know:

1. The CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS will take place on Monday, October 13. Submissions will not be accepted until after the call has been posted (so keep your eye on the blog!).

2. This month's contest will include the following genres: Commercial fiction, literary fiction, thrillers/suspense, young adult, and sci-fi/fantasy. (Huzzah! Huzzah!)

3. Entries will be limited to a 24-hour submission window, or 75 submissions -- WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.

4. Submissions will consist of the first 250 words of your COMPLETED NOVEL. Yes, the novel must be completed.

5. Submissions must be received in the format laid out in the CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS on October 13, so please read the post carefully before sending your submission.

6. By entering this contest, you are agreeing to the public posting and critiquing of your work.

7. If you are chosen as a winner of this contest, you will agree to the terms of the prize as laid out by our Secret Agent, or your prize will be subject to forfeiture. (Yes, there's a story behind this. No, I'm not telling it. Suffice it to say that if you want to play, then follow the rules through to the end.)

8. Ask your questions in the comment box here.


  1. Can we use the same opening as used in a previous Secret Agent contest? It has been revised based on feedback.

  2. Yayness! :D

    I will even have my urban fantasy novel done by then. *cackles*

    I look forward to this, Authoress. ;)


  3. Goody! Another test market before whom I can daringly flaunt my latest revisions. I completely rewrote the first part of my novel based in-part on the post-contest rejection from your last Secret Agent, Barbara Poelle. Interestingly, prior to last contest I had just rewritten the first few paragraphs.

  4. Mary,

    Provided you've made substantial revisions, yes. That's part of the beauty of this process. We can get feedback, make changes based upon it, and then get more feedback.


    "Yayness" indeed!


    And that's exactly what's so cool about this whole thing. I can't tell you how much I LOVE hearing things like what you've just written!

  5. Can't wait!

    Hey, Merc- which novel?

  6. awww
    is there any way to participate and be outside the realm of the contest part of it? I'd love to get the feedback from the agent and all the critters...but my book's not finished :(

  7. Hey, Chelle! :D Looking forward to your entry.

    I was thinking about polishing up Time is Hell and trying that. ;)


  8. Authoress -- I think I might be genre-lly challenged.

    If you have a quick definition for your idea of literary fiction and commercial fiction, could you post them?

    As if you haven't done enough for us! Many thanks!

  9. OOOOO, I would never presume.

    Look at it this way. Is it fiction? Is it a completed manuscript? Enter the contest.

    If you don't know whether it would be termed "literary" or "commercial," just call it "fiction."

    I'm not going to set myself up as an expert on the difference between the two (though, to be sure, you can hear me going off five miles away when I'm browsing in the so-called "literature" section in Borders... ;)

  10. this sounds like fun. Think I'll have to give it a go.

  11. I agree with Vandy. I'd love to get feedback, too, but mine's not
    'completed' either. Not that I'd win. There's so much good stuff from everyone here.

  12. yes, is there any way to enter and put a caveat on that one is not in it for the prize - i.e. we don't have a completed novel? I don't expect to win, there's far better work out there, but I'd feel bad if by some off chance I placed and couldn't follow the rules. But I'd LOVE the feedback.

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  14. What if the 250 words ends in the middle of a sentence? Do we add the remaining words in the sentence? Do we take it back to the previous sentence? Do we leave it as is?

  15. Hi Just Joan...

    Never submit anything that ends in the middle of a sentence. Going slightly under or slightly over 250 is the right thing to do. :)

  16. I planned to send something in. I had the e-mail all prepared in my draft file, so I could stagger up at 6 a.m. local time and only have to manage a couple of key-strokes at that terrible hour. Alas, my modem eviled-out on me, and was sulky from Friday evening through about 9 a.m. (MST) this morning (Tuesday). We have a cable company technician scheduled to remonstrate with it tomorrow morning, and trusting that he'll be successful, I hope not to miss many more submission/contest deadlines.


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